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Thomas Elwood: Early livestock commentary
Showlists are larger in the south and a bit smaller in the north; overall numbers are up on the week.
Packers have opened with bids of $96.00-$96.50 live and $152 dressed. Feedlots are still asking
$100.00 live, but the collapse in futures on Tuesday has hurt their case quite a bit. While feedlots came
into the week expecting to force packers to pay up, it now appears that they may be lucky to get steady
money unless the board turns around.
The choice cutout was down $0.92 at $161.75 last night, with the select down $0.01 at $155.91.
Volume rebounded back to more normal levels, but was still a little on the light side. Weekend
clearance reports were mixed. While some reported good movement, others said it was average at best.
Some buyers are a little cautious about being too aggressive at these price levels. Forward sales were
flat with the week before, but still above the 5 year average.
Cash hog market calls are steady/firm again today. Packers are planning a big Saturday slaughter and
are still looking for a few hogs. Field work is starting with an unusually early corn harvest in some
areas. That has some producers concentrating on things other than marketing hogs.
The pork cutout lost $0.84 last night. Loins were weak again and the weighted average on bone-in
dropped almost a dime. Butts were steady to 3 cents higher. Hams were unquoted, but were said to be
trading about steady on a "market basis". Strong export demand continues to soak up limited supplies.
Bellies were quoted steady/weak with weighted average 6 cents lower. Note the CME weekly storage
report is delayed until tonight due to Monday's holiday.